Family, friends grapple with emotions after guilty verdict

(Photo courtesy of The Republic)

COLUMBUS, Ind. (WISH) – Family and friends of the victims in the quadruple homicide were still reeling with emotion after the conviction of their loved ones’ killer, Samuel E. Sallee.

Sallee, 57, was convicted on Feb. 25, 2015, for killing Katheryn M. Burton, Thomas W. Smith, Aaron T. Cross and Shawn L. Burton at Katheryn’s Waynesville home on May 11, 2013.

Katheryn’s son, Daniel Burton, who was 27 at the time of the murders, wasn’t even able to be in the courtroom as the guilty verdict was read for Sallee.

“I’m still taking it all in,” Burton said in a telephone interview with 24-Hour News 8 news partner Columbus Republic. “I’m finding all of this pretty overwhelming.”

Those in the courtroom who were present for Sallee’s recommended sentence reading of life in prison included Kelly Cross, Aaron Cross’ widow and mother to his son.

“(Sallee) has not only ended four lives, he’s damaged generations of lives, creating a pain and grief that will never go away. I hope he rots in prison,” Kelly Cross stated.

Glenda Smith, Thomas’ mother, openly wept with relief just outside the courtroom.

Not only were family and friends affected by the four murders, but the whole of Waynesville.

“Waynesville is a tight-knit community, I think everybody can rest with some peace now, but it’s something we’ll talk about for the rest of our lives,” said Steve Furkin, next-door neighbor to where the homicides occurred.

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